January Wrap-Up (2014)

I never posted a wrap-up of my reading in January, so here you go! Better late than never, huh? My High Fantasy Challenge got off to a good start, and I enjoyed the other books I read as well. February Wrap-Up will follow soon (hopefully)!

Rating system
1 out of 5 – I didn’t like it: badly written or just got on my nerves
2 out of 5 – It was okay: other people might enjoy it more
3 out of 5 – I liked it: a fun/enjoyable read
4 out of 5 – I really liked it: good characters & plot, maybe some theme that spoke to me
5 out of 5 – It was amazing: I consider it a favorite and will probably re-read at some point

My favorite post in january

2014 Resolutions – My High Fantasy Challenge list

High Fantasy of the Month

The Name of the Wind Best of the Month sticker
The Name of the Wind
(The Kingkiller Chronicle #1)
By: Patrick Rothfuss
First published in 2007

The legendary hero Kvothe tells his real story for the first time.

My review is here. I loved it! 5/5

Classic of the Month

A Moveable Feast
A Moveable Feast

By: Ernest Hemingway
First published in 1964
Genre: Modern classic memoir

Hemingway reminisces about his time in Paris in the 1920s, spent with a bunch of other writers.

I’ve never read a novel by Hemingway before, and this one was a memoir – so I still don’t know much about his fiction writing. I’ve always been interested in the history of France, and I loved the movie Midnight in Paris that was set in this same era, so I enjoyed reading about “starving artists” in Paris.

One thing I noticed was that those poor artists sure did drink a lot of coffee and wine, hahah! I guess those things were a lot cheaper then. Hemingway’s work ethic and attitude to writing were also very interesting to read about. I enjoyed the appearances of all the other writers and artists, though the reader has to remember that this is very much Hemingway’s impression of those people, and not the be-all-and-end-all of those persons – some of them did come across as caricatures. Overall, a very interesting look into Hemingway’s life at that point in time. 3/5

Fantasy Books

Whispers Underground
Whispers Under Ground

(Peter Grant #3)
By: Ben Aaronovitch
First published in 2012
Genre: Urban fantasy police procedural

Constable and wizard’s apprentice Peter Grant is called for help when a murdered American exhange student is found at a tube station.

I fell in love with the Peter Grant series last year, and this is the third book in the series. This time I didn’t enjoy the case so much, but the characters and the dialogue were as good as ever. Even all the side characters always feel like real people. So while this was my least favorite case in the series so far, I did have fun reading the book. 4/5

Over Sea Under Stone
Over Sea, Under Stone

(The Dark is Rising #1)
By: Susan Cooper
First published in 1965
Genre: Middle grade adventure fantasy

Three siblings try to find an Arthurian artifact before the bad guys get to it.

I enjoyed this book very much! What a nice start to a children’s fantasy adventure series. It was well written (I read the Finnish translation) and very engaging: I was nervous when the kids were chased and excited when they did a discovery.

I’m really surprised that I didn’t read this series when I was a kid, especially ’cause I remember I really liked Cooper’s Seaward back then. I would have loved this. 4/5

Graphic novels

Y the Last Man Vol 1
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned

By: Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra
First published in 2003
Genre: Dystopian

A mysterious plague kills all males on Earth, except, for some reason, escape artist Yorick and his capuchin monkey.

A lot of people have recommended this series to me, and I’ve liked other works by Vaughan, but I have to say that I didn’t love the book. It was interesting, but there were some things that annoyed me, and I wasn’t very invested in the characters. I will read on, though (and did in February), to see where the plot goes, and how the re-building of the world after the catastrophe is handled. 3/5

January Book Haul (2014)

Last month I bought one book for myself, two for my boyfriend, and one for my sister. I will still end up reading them all, so here they are! All the links take you to GoodReads.

Own Haul

2014 January Book Haul 1
Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

I really like Jackson’s writing style, so I bought a novel of hers that our library doesn’t carry. I actually have no idea what this book is about, but I like it that way sometimes. And see how beautifully it matches with the crocheted bookmark that my friend made me for Christmas! (The bookmark has a cute skull on the other end, perhaps I’ll show it one day.)

Gift Books

2014 January Book Haul 2
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast I bought two superhero books for my boyfriend, and since they are in our shelf and I’m intrigued, I will read them some time or another. I happen to like the other cover of Vicious a bit better, but this one was cheaper. I also ended up ordering A Moveable Feast, a memoir about Hemingway’s time in Paris in the 1920s with other famous authors, because my sister loves the movie Midnight in Paris. I already gifted it to her (after reading it).


2014 January Book Haul 3
Warm Up (a Vicious short story) by V.E. Schwab
The Sign of the Four (Sherlock Holmes #2) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
The Woman in White and The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins

I downloaded some free Kindle classics, as well as bought a short story taking place in the same world as Vicious for a couple of dollars. I think downloading free classics is a good way to satisfy my book buying urges without spending any money or taking up any shelf space.

This haul is linked at the weekly haul memes Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, and Showcase Sunday, hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea.